Keynote Speakers

Marja Ahola & Katri Lassila – Capturing the subjective: LARP as intangible heritage and the problem of documentation

Marja Ahola is a Research Council of Finland postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oulu and a visiting researcher at the University of Helsinki. In her current research, Ahola aims to understand the role of underground burial within the cosmology of Mesolithic-Neolithic hunter-gatherers in northeastern Europe. In addition to the deep past, Ahola is interested in heritage-making processes and in artistic-archaeological collaboration, especially in how art can provide archaeologists with tactile and non-discursive knowledge of the world. Ahola co-founded The Association of Immersive Arts, which promotes the tradition, research, and practice of immersive arts—including role-playing games, LARPs, and interactive performances—in Finland.

Katri Lassila is a visual artist, who explores the phenomenology of landscape through analogue photography and moving image. Lassila has exhibited her works in Finland and abroad since 1999 and completed her artistic doctoral thesis at Aalto University, Finland in 2023. In the artistic part of her thesis, a short film The Cliff, Lassila harnessed immersive LARP techniques to achieve the subjective experience of the film’s characters. Lassila has written and directed larps since 1998. In the early 2000s, she participated collaborated with Laura Kalli in developing feminist approach to larping, as well as early creative concepts later known as “rule of the greater drama” and “play to lift/lose”. In recognition of their contributions to Finnish role-playing culture, Lassila and Kalli were awarded The Golden Dragon by the Ropecon Association in 2020.